These Are My People: Aunt Lizzie

The turning of the Wheel is honored in her space

the breathing of the seasons accounted at her grace

With eyes the color of summer sky she observes the holy

Appreciating each season as its revealed so slowly

Her hair is the color of bonfires, of cider mills or pumpkin pies

When she laughs, I mean really laughs, it could make you cry

She sees the world in music, notes upon a page,

Not a moment passes by that she’s not fully engaged.

She can make a piano dance a jig or an organ sing to God

But she believes, somewhere inside, that she is somehow flawed.

When she gives the gift of her, in whichever way she does,

There is never any doubt in mind, that you are truly loved.


These Are My People: Ray and Coral Juras

I was scrolling my Facebook feed and I found a picture of Coral and Ray looking into each others eyes while they danced together. When I first met them, it was in the social hall at the old church building. They didn’t attend the service but had scooted in to “hang out.” They were so warm and kind that I instantly realized they were kindred spirits with one another. They were just content as clams to be nearby. I loved them warmly then as I do now. This is a poem inspired by that picture I found but can’t yet retrieve.

I barely knew the sea, ne’er touched the heated sands beneath my feet

I didn’t know the lighthouse song or the foggy waves clashing the beach

I didn’t taste the salty air or dream of it cleansing cool against my skin

I never watched the tides roll the beach, tossing shells as the waves washed in

But then I looked into your eyes with the warm smile of the sun a beacon…

I am intimately aware of the soul of the sea with the heated sands beneath my skin

I heed the beckoning of your loving heart and with the lighthouse of your love sing along

The fogs have lifted where once it was shady, but you and your love light my way again

I embrace the kiss of the salty air in the dream where I get to be your spousal song

We’ll dance like the tides ebbing and flowing, splashing playful at the shore,

As I return again and again to you, my beautiful, the one the ocean dictates I adore

The wordless song

A Love Note

A Love Note

If I scatter my glittery mess on your shoes,

spewing peace and love like a good little muse,

you have two choices as far as I can tell,

you can sweep it aside or allow it to gel.

It’s hard to find darkness when you look to the light.

It’s hard to see peace when you’re ready to fight.

It’s hard to have compassion when you’ve become jaded.

It’s hard to see the colors when they’ve all become faded.


If you listen to the sound of the grateful song,

you’ll remember the words and start singing along.

The joy you will feel as your heart catches fire

with the passion for living, loving and desire.

It will fill your bucket from bottom to top

with the world’s best laughter and the strangest of props.

Disappointment will become a thing of the past,

if you trust that the bad times, like the good times won’t last.

Grin at the absurdity presented each day,

wave at the jerks as they pass by your way.

Wish them the best as you let them slip by,

with a whistle on your lips and wink of your eye.

You’re the blessing they need if you don’t understand,

just be who you are wherever you may land.




I See You

Kaleidoscope_13I see you. You are not invisible to me. When I look at you, you wear no clothes. You wear no physical form. There is a ball around your body that lights up when you’re around people you like and dims when you’re not fond of them. The ball has colors and patterns that are spectacularly blended to me. I see you.

You’re a kaleidoscope of vivid colors that ebb and flow depending on how you move the liquid essence that you float in unwittingly. Where there is pain, I see the darkness. Where there is love, I see the light. Where you reside is usually a central color that tells me everything I need to know about you. I am a voyeur of sorts but not the creepy kind. I will not jump from your closet unexpectedly one night. I will meet you on the terms you’ve established. Because I can feel your intent.

I’m sorry if you feel I’ve invaded your privacy. I don’t know how to turn it off. I don’t really don’t want to because it’s served me so well. It’s proven invaluable to me to seek others of the light. It’s proven invaluable to me when I know I can’t trust a person because they are too consumed by material things to know they’re spiritual beings. It’s guided me effectively to incredible experiences through people with knowledge so deeply profound that I sometimes weep with gratefulness while others cause me deep caution.

It’s a feeling of authentic appreciation of identity that can only bloom with the watering of confidence when I see people that fit into their spirits; That “get it”. When I see someone working actively to grow into their spirits, I can forgive almost anything they do because I witness the evolution of color as if a perfect painting were in the works and I get to watch the brushstrokes fall on the canvas. It’s glorious to see. My gift allows me the privilege without effort.

There are also people who are not exactly dark and not exactly light. They are in a flux between worlds. The material world grabs their ankles and wrists tugging them away from their destiny. Their spirit self does a watoosie trying to find footing, trying to fill in the blanks. There are some that stand in this disarray and cry out that they don’t know who they are or that they don’t know what they’re doing. Nobody knows for sure what we’re doing. We just come up with a plan and see how it pans out. If we’re lucky, we have guides to show us the way out. I am one of those guides but I don’t know everything.

It is increasingly difficult when I feel as if I am carrying/dragging them towards the light. They start off saying, “Oh yes! I really want to do something different and I really like your ideas. Let’s go on this journey together.” I comply and we have long talks deep into the night. The kind that feels like it is the most important conversation I’ll ever have. For that moment in time that glimpse into the moonlight or the daylight it truly is. The intensity can’t be matched because it is so relevant. It is crucially real. But they fall back asleep and forget that we’d every spoken the conversation. With some, that shine so brightly but fear themselves, I keep trying to wake them up because I believe they need to be; because they said they wanted to be.

I don’t say anything to people who are dark. I don’t squeal with delight when I see them. Their wounds run far too deep for me to do anything other than shine a light at the end of their tunnel and coax them from sleep if they’re ready. There have been times when words came out of my mouth that weren’t mine but were intended for a particular person. Just like that, it’s as if a small miracle, sometimes large, happens but it isn’t mine. That’s when my light can reach into that dark place and help bring them home to the light where they belong. Those are the people that shoot past me like a rocket grinning from ear to ear on the tides of self-discovery and I cherish each one that finds that place. I do not gift them because it’s already theirs as it is yours. I may just nudge the light a tad to the right so they can see they’re really okay.

But I can’t carry them. I can’t wake them up. I can’t do that. I can’t pick someone up and force them to embrace their colors. It is ALWAYS the individual choices that color their spirits. It is ALWAYS their responsibility. I learned this and other rules of engagement when watching the masterpieces I encounter.

I can’t tell people what color they will become but I can tell them what color I see. The colors don’t have traits as much as they have emotions attached to them. When I see the colors and I really like them, I have to wait. I can’t immediately bond with them because rarely, but it does happen, they are wearing someone else’s colors. Like maybe they had a bad interaction with someone so it clouds their spirit or they’ve just received great news and are wearing that instead of their normal vestments. It’s the wolf in sheep’s clothing that causes me to ease my steps.

The physical being, the way you wish people to see you comes second. When I see someone that matches their physical self with their spirit self, it’s a feeling of home. It’s a feeling of such personal integrity, I think, “YOU! You’re there!” Sometimes it surprises me so much to find an authentic person that I actually say that out loud. There are many people who come close to matching but, it’s like they choose the wrong pair of socks or the wrong shade of happy. It’s just enough off for me to recognize that they’re missing parts of themselves or aren’t aware they are. It is my experience that it’s typically the latter.

The physical being does matter. I don’t wish you to have the wrong impression. I do see it, but not until I’ve peered through the spirit. When I tell someone that they are beautiful, I see them as I’ve described to you. I wish I could paint each person so they could see their beauty too. As if, if I could create them on canvas, they might appreciate their own divinity that seems apparent to me. But instead I’ll follow the advice of my kind Uncle Les who said, “Mare, whatever you do, keep doing it. The world needs more of it.” So it is written, so it is done.

When I’m Alone

The Clipper Ship Blue Jacket On Choppy SeasAm I Schrodinger’s cat locked in a coffin that I can’t see?

Am I my own imagination come to life or who others want to see?

Am I an earthquake that shakes the foundation of your beliefs?

Am I the whirlwind that’s met with cautious alacrity?

Am I so enigmatic I am hidden even from myself?

Am I a magician’s assistant that performs with infuriating stealth?

Who am I when there’s nobody around to witness me?

Am I just a wanderer piloting my ship on the popped blue collar sea?

Living Out Loud

Queen of my own Life

Queen of my own Life

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Live your life out loud.” But we’ve also been told to “Keep it down”, “Don’t cause ripples”, “Work hard”, and “That’s just the way it is.” The mixed messages we get while we traverse our lives make it difficult to figure out exactly what we’re supposed to be doing. Parents want us to do this, friends want us to do that, society puts its expectations on us to be productive members. It’s all so confusing.

One of my “gifts” that I learned at a later age that serves me well is to be whom I am with no excuses.  I don’t have to be a stick thin woman. I don’t have to dumb myself down. I don’t have to hide my past or try to be someone I’m not. If I want to wear kitty ears, pirate hats, or super-hero capes when I go out in public, why the heck not? It makes me happy, harms no one, and brings a jolt of the unexpected to a world that lingers in melancholy.

But, how did I get to this point? How did I get “brave” enough to be me?

It happened on accident. “I” snuck up on myself. Most of my life was spent trying to do what I was expected but it never quite fit “me.” I’m loud. I’m bawdy. I love to eat, raise hell, and laugh a LOT. Without arrogance I can tell you I’m wicked smart, have great ideas, and apply my skills in unique and creative ways that don’t always coincide with the expectations of my occupations.

Every job I’ve ever had, with few exceptions, didn’t last long because I just couldn’t stay still long enough. Once I felt I’d mastered whatever it was, I wanted change. Sometimes it was voluntary and sometimes it wasn’t when I left a job. My least favorite positions were those where I wasn’t trained properly but expected to perform circus tricks with information that didn’t apply to the job at hand. My favorite positions were ones where I not only satisfied my creative needs but was allowed to be “a little off-beat.” Being a radio DJ, copy writer, and producing commercials satisfied all of those needs and although my reasons for leaving that position are complicated, I was in the process of moving to Tennessee to take care of my nephew.

When I was very young, I was constantly performing. Plays, jokes, being a mosquito, writing fake cursive on notes that I expected my younger brother to “read.” My Aunt Lizzie used to say that I marched to the beat of a different drummer only my drummer played the tuba. I loved wild clothes and climbing trees. I participated in nearly everything with all of me, unless it meant being in public. I didn’t much like that.

I got lucky enough to find a couple of people that showed me a fascinating truth about myself. Shanna Harris started it. One day she was a gas station attendant, the next moment, after my soul recognized hers and hers mine, we were inseparable. We had long talks, longer walks, and lived in a town that was too small for the both of our wild ways. By wild ways, I mean that we liked to be loud. We liked to be bawdy (me more than her), we liked to live out loud. But, as fates would have it, I moved away to a couple of places before I settled in Show Low, AZ.

At first I was doing a boring office job selling a product I didn’t care about for a ridiculously low salary of 100 bucks every two weeks. Anyway, opportunity knocked when the local radio station was looking for weekend help. I immediately applied.

I became a monkey pushing buttons to make sure shows ran at the times they were supposed to on the station they were supposed to run. I wasn’t good at it at first. In fact, I got reprimanded about a month into it being told either get it right or get out. I buckled down because, dude, I worked at a radio station and how cool was that?

It wasn’t long before they discovered I could write. When they did, I started writing nearly every commercial that came out of the station. When I figured out production, I added that to my skills. When they needed a substitute for the morning show, I stepped up and gave them banter. When they wanted remote talent for broadcasts, I’d either work the studio end or head out to the place they wanted to promote.

When football season came around, I played a game with the announcers. I’d give them a topic before they went out to the field and they’d incorporate that into their broadcast. Let’s say the topic was fish. For every reference to “A whale of a play” or “They look like they’re stacked like sardines in that tackle” they’d get a point. It was a lot of fun.

I made friends. LOTS of them, but my core posse was Carrie, Stephanie, and Bean. We went and did everything together. The more outrageous I got, the more they cheered me on with their own ridiculous hats and jokes. We sang loudly, drank more, and laughed a LOT. They forced me to realize that my oddities were exactly what made me so much fun to be around which in turn made me realize that maybe I wasn’t so bad after all.

So when I say “I” snuck up on myself, I mean it in the sense that once I realized that being me made me happy, once I accepted that who I am is a pretty cool person to be, I was able to explore what I wanted to be and how I wished others to see me.

Yes. I’m eccentric and off-kilter and I don’t always see things the way other people do, but I also realized that my voice is necessary to make changes in the world. Just like you, I doubted I was important. I didn’t believe I was worthy. I didn’t think people would want to hear the voice of a woman who likes rabbit ears in July. But you know what? They do.

People want to hear the truth even when society tells them to be this or do that. They want to see that being unique can be accomplished. They want to know that their own oddities, even when in private, are okay. How do you live out loud? You do what makes you happy in the biggest and best way because that, my friend, is the greatest gift you can give to the world, YOU!